Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jesus! It a Fire!

Remember this morning when I mentioned that I didn’t have the energy to write anything of consequence? That was a few hours before the Jesusita Fire — or, as I like to call it, Diminutive Feminine Jesus Fire — began burning in the hills about the mission, and now I realize that I had foolishly forgotten what it means to have my free time go up in spoke. I actually spoke the words out loud earlier this week: “I don’t see how the story on the double murder couldn’t be lead news in the print edition.” And yet, here I am, at the end of a Tuesday Newsday, knowing that my presumption was wrong and those damned sundowners have once again conspired to consume my plans and belch them back into the air in tiny white flakes.

credit: intern tyler

It’s a bad sort of familiar, but I can’t say that the situation has me as tightly wound as the last one did. Of course, I can’t actually see the flames from my house. That helps. Really, I should say I would have no excuse for not getting used to the situation at this point; with the Zaca, Gap and Tea fires all having previously risen and fallen within the geographic region on which my newspaper reports, I know I won’t be treading into new territory with Jesusita.

A calmer temperament this time around does little, however, to make my immediate circumstances any more tolerable. I’ll be quite happy if I never again have to sit in this old house, sweating in my chair but unable to open the windows because I must keep out both smoke and the noise of helicopters hovering at a distance that sounds perilously close. I am someone who prefers his windows not to rattle in fifteen-minute intervals. I am someone who despite complaints of Santa Barbara snooziness still would rather not live in Action County USA. I am someone who would more enjoys the question “What next?” being asked only in the fashion of delighted birthday children expecting more good surprises.

A positive: In hiking up to Seven Falls, I’ve previously noticed the sign indicating the Jesusita Trail and laughed at my own mental picture of an anime-eyed, pig-tailed ladychrist whose pint-sized frame belies boundless love — specifically for puppy dogs, kitty cats and spinning. Now I see that the diminutive female Jesus is a force to be reckoned with. Let us not underestimate her again.

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